Richmond Art Center

Art Lives Here Art Lives Here

Barrett Street Entrance Mural

By AGANA

Richmond-artist AGANA spent two days creating her site-specific mural that now adorns the columns flanking RAC’s Barrett Street entrance. After five months of RAC’s facility being closed to the public during shelter-in-place, it was so exciting to have an artist working onsite again. Agana carefully developed her work to harmonize with Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo’s banner nearby, This is life long work.

Artist Statement:

Known to the world as AGANA, I am an internationally acclaimed artist by the name of  Vanessa Solari Espinoza (American, b.1982).

I am a multi-dimensional contemporary mural artist, I give public walls a vibrant life with bold aesthetics, bursting colors, textual calligraphic gestures and abstract form. 

At the intersection of graffiti and fine art practices, my intention is to communicate common social threads via monumental vision.

I describe my style layered in storytelling while stimulating transformative conceptualism for viewers through visual linguistics via spray, gradients, speckles, drips, and blending mixed mediums.

Prolific in my production, I create platforms for successful global art projects found on city buildings across the Americas and worldwide from Switzerland to Senegal.

Bringing us home, continuing to keep Richmond beautiful, it is a true honor to be able to paint my first mural as a solo artist in conjunction with masterpieces by other talented Bay Area artists.

This is my 3rd mural project at Richmond Art Center. The first two murals I had previously painted were with cohorts of talented youth artists from RYSE. The first mural is located at the side entrance, the theme is “Keep Richmond Beautiful”. The theme of the second mural temporarily installed located in the courtyard was “Keep Families Together”.

The front entrance mural welcomes you as a portal into the unique experience from galleries to studios that is the heart of RAC. 

The under and overlapping colors you see are woven together like water connecting the iconic fish Guillermo with the visually vibrating poetic words of Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo’s banner.

The mural is a call and response connecting the art pieces while playfully speaking to one another on different dimensions of the same building, echoing water is life, agua es vida.

Each stroke of color is symbolic of our symbiotic connection to the elements of water and air literally flowing through our bodies.

We are the reflection of the earth in sliced growing gradients building each other up through our collective struggles from environmental racism to people over profit. 

The intention of the close up splashes of paint you see from Guillermo the Fish’s tale are creating currents and waves of resistance against the fossil fuel industry.

Each pillar is a symbol of the vast spectrims of our identities giving us life, holding up our dreams and standing tall in solidarity with the deep roots of artistry, mentoring the seeds of our future.

This mural is a call to action protecting the elements of the earth for future generations adding urgency to create art as your action towards climate justice as a climate warrior.

Upon viewing the mural in person, you will see the seamless strokes wrapping around the edges of the columns differently depending on your point of view.

One may observe from walking through this mural experience that how we approach new art mediums is similar to ways that we approach creating new innovative ideas from different angles and perspectives.

May this mural bring new audiences, mentors and hidden talent through the doors to continue to cultivate our creative confidence in the rich history and herstory that is Richmond, CA. 

About the Artist: Of Venezuelan descent and hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, AGANA gives public walls vibrant life with her iconic pictorial imagery, bold aesthetics, bursting colors, textual calligraphic gestures and form. At the intersections of street art, graffiti and fine art practices she communicates common social threads via monumental vision. Rooted in her Latinx identity as part of the larger American experience, AGANA also translates the artistic mural process into fruitful community-building strategies. With a background in graphic design and jewelry metal arts, AGANA received a BAS in Visual Effects from Ex’pression College for Digital Art in 2008 working in the film, animation and video game production industries. Prolific in her production, AGANA creates platforms for successful global art projects found on city buildings across the Americas and worldwide from Switzerland to Senegal. www.djagana.com

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2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94804
510.620.6772

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